squeeze felt by all partners. However, substantial progress continues to be made bymultiple recovery partners.
ARANSAS – WOOD
Spring Migration, 2006
The mortality of 6 whooping cranes at Aransas during the 2005-06 winter left 214 in theflock at the start of the spring migration. An estimated 163 cranes (76% of the flock)initiated migration from Aransas between March 29 and April 12th. In the first week of April, the only reports received of whooping cranes in migration were seven cranes onthe Platte River (2 singles, a pair, and a family). One color-banded family made the tripfrom Aransas to Nebraska in four days and, (after a three-day rest), from there to centralSouth Dakota in one day. The single crane on the Platte River from March 11 to April 1was believed to have been the subadult crane that wintered with sandhills in extremesouth Texas and has never been to Aransas. By mid-April, sighting reports of whoopingcranes had been received from as far north as North Dakota. Martha Tacha of USFWS-Endangered Species in Grand Island, Nebraska recorded 24 total confirmed migrationsightings in spring, 2006 between March 11 and June 15. Sightings were located inNorth Dakota (9), South Dakota (3), Nebraska (9), Kansas (1), Oklahoma (1) andMinnesota (1). The sighting of 2 adults on June 15 occurred in Minnesota about 60 milesnorth of Duluth, east of the usual migration corridor. Three whooping cranes remained atAransas National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) during the summer.On April 12th at Aransas, one chick was observed all by itself on its parents’ territory onSan Jose Island. Whooping crane juveniles normally separate from their parents eithershortly after arrival on the nesting grounds, en route in the northern parts of themigration, or occasionally separate at Aransas. Presumably the parents started themigration and the juvenile had no idea what was going on or perhaps just wasn’t quiteready to migrate, so it stayed behind. The juvenile migrated later on and presumablyreturned to the Canadian nesting grounds. It probably showed up on its parent’s nestingterritory, but would have been driven off by the parents who will not tolerate last year’schick.
Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada
Production surveys on the nesting grounds carried out June 13-17 in a Partanavia twin-engine aircraft piloted by Jim Bredy, USFWS-Region II documented a record hatch of 76chicks from the record 62 nests found by Brian Johns and Lea Craig-Moore of theCanadian Wildlife Service in May. Previous highs were 66 chicks hatched and 61 nestsfound a few years ago. Fifty-two of the 62 nests (84%) produced one or more chicks.The 76 chicks included 24 sets of twins. The record chick production in 2006 resultedfrom both high productivity and a large number of nests. An estimated 9 known adultpairs including two single adults failed to nest but were present on their territories,comparable to the 7 pairs that failed to nest in 2005. Thus, there are an estimated 71breeding pairs in the Aransas-Wood Buffalo population. Water conditions on the nesting